Italy is a long peninsula shaped like a boot. The northern provinces have cold winters and hot summers, while the southern ones have mild winters and very hot summers. The personality of the people also has regional differences—the northern Italian is more industrious, while the southerner is more easy-going and hospitable.
The unbiblical Marian teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, along with the atheistic teaching of Communism keeps Italy's 57 million people in Satan's grip. The official census of Italy claims that over 99 percent of the Italian people are Catholic.
William and Leone Fusco arrived in Italy in 1955 and concentrated their efforts in Salerno. In spite of vigorous opposition, a small group of converts began to meet regularly in the Baptist Hall, which opened in 1957. That group of believers continues on today without missionary leadership. Outreaches in other locations were started. However, from June 1970 to January 1973, there were no BMM missionaries in Italy.
In 1973 three new missionary families arrived. This, coupled with the return of another couple in February 1974, brought about the establishment of a new beachhead for BMM in Italy.
Since 1979, the Lord has made it possible to proclaim the gospel to many through television--18 telecasts per week are broadcast in four regions. Since 1982, Radio Luce has put forth the gospel 24 hours per day in the provinces of Perugia and Terni. Each response to the radio or television is followed up with gospel literature. Over 1,500 families have responded and several small groups have been formed as a result.
There are 31,000 cities and villages without a single gospel witness. National leadership needs to be developed. A college ministry could be developed among Perugia's student population (Italian and foreign) of 40,000.
One couple made numerous forays from "the heel of the boot" to Albania, a self-proclaimed atheist state. Many Albanians are fluent in Italian. This natural bridge for evangelism in a "creative access country" calls for additional workers.
Church planters, evangelists, and campus workers are needed to effectively spread the gospel throughout Italy and neighboring Albania.